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40 Hikes In Tennessee's South Cumberland
by Russ Manning (The Mountaineers Books)
The 9.9-mile Collins Gulf Trail and the 1.6-mile Stagecoach Road Historic Trail combine with a short piece of the Connector Trail to make one of the most fascinating loop hikes on the South Cumberland, with numerous overlooks and waterfalls, including Suter Falls. This spreading waterfall, the cascading creek, and the massive rock walls of the gorge around Suter Falls make this setting one of the true spectacles of the Southeast. Camping is available at the Collins West Camp Area, Sawmill Camp Area, and Collins East Camp Area. The Stagecoach Road Historic Trail follows the old route of the Stagecoach Road that ran from McMinnville to Chattanooga. Construction of the road began in 1830 and depended heavily on slave labor. The old roadbed, with its rock walls and stone cribbing, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the most beautiful trails I have been on, however, it is quite strenuous. Hiked from west access point to Collin's East campground first night, about a two hour hike. Next day decided to finish the loop, and thought my feet were going to fall off by the end. The stagecoach road is composed of millions of small rocks that are murder on the soles. Saw mill camp to horsepound falls is a fairly easy path. Hike out from Horsepound is very tough, but we were rewarded by the beauty of sutter falls. Would recomend this trail to experienced hikers in good shape. There are many jewels to be found along both the rim and valley trails.
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